Manongarivo Special Reserve

Map Manongarivo Manongarivo Special Reserve was established in 1956 and is located in a mountainous massif not far from to the northwest coast of Madagascar, about 40 km South of Ambanja. It comprises 33 km² of humid evergreen and moist semi-deciduous forests, and depicts an excellent example of a lowland Malagasy rainforest gradually developing into a mountain forest. The landscape is mainly formed by steep slopes up to 1900 m and narrow valleys.
Its endemism rate is high, so this area is regarded to be among the richest in terms of biodiversity in Madagascar.

But Manongarivo faces big threatens: lemurs and other animals are being hunted, coffee and cocoa plantations are gradually substituting the original forest and cattle-grazing is increasing within the boundaries of the reserve. Though, the main threat is still the slash-and-burn practiced by the Sakalava and the Tsimihety. Precious wood is also illegally exploited, which also has terrible effects in the hydrology of the region: the Manongarivo, the Andranomalaza the Sambirano River and other smaller rivers cross the reserve and contribute to form a hydrological reservoir for the agriculture of all the surrounding areas.

The number of animal species in Manongarivo forest is still quite high. There are 17 mammal species including several rare lemurs like Sambirano mouse lemur, greater dwarf lemur or the regional endemic black lemur. 103 species of birds can be found in this dense forest, such as Madagascar and Frances´sparrowhawk, blue and red-fronted coua, velvet and Schlegel's asity, Sakavala and nelicourvi weaver, Sickle-billed vanga, crested ibis, White-throated oxylabes or Crossley's babbler. Besides, 31 amphibian and 39 reptile species complete the great biodiversity of Manongarivo.
The flora varies depending on the altitude. At least 30 families and 200 species grow within the Reserve, and 11 species only occur here. The local population uses more than 70 species to prepare traditional medicines.
Malagay paradise-flycatcher
   Malagasy paradise-flycatcher
   © Muzzanese

Manongarivo can be visited almost during all the year. The best option is by far with a car, since the taxi-brousse does not drive till the Reserve. Once in Ambanja there are two possibilities as there are two entrances to the Reserve.
If you follow the main road NR6 to the South you must drive until Beraty and here take a poor road for 55 km until you reach the West entrance. The second possibility is shorter but only practicable during the dry season: in Ambanja take the road towards Marotolana until a place called Antanambao. Here take a rough secondary road during 40 km until the East entrance.

  Dense forest at Manongarivo
  © Madagascar Travel Guide

There are no touristic infrastructure and not circuits within the reserve yet. Nevertheless, you can arrange all you need (including a local guide) at the Office at Ambanja to visit Manongarivo and other interesting and beautiful places  in this region, like a couple of terrific waterfalls or the village of Mahilaka, where archaeologists have found rests from the 18th century (actually Mahilaka could be the oldest village of the whole Madagascar).

There is no accommodation inside the Reserve, but camping is allowed at some places (bring your own equipment). The nearest hotels are in Ambanja.

For a better planning  of a visit to Manongarivo we recommend to visit the ANGAP Office at Antsiranana or the local office at Ambanja.

Direction Inter-Regionale de Madagascar National Parks
Route de l’Aéroport BP 475, 201 ANTSIRANANA
Tel: (261 20) 82 213 20
Email : angapdie@yahoo.fr

Réserve Spéciale de Manongarivo
BP 164  203 Ambanja